[not 101] Men in feminism

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Post by Mel on Thu Nov 06, 2014 1:49 pm

I came across this quote on Tumblr today and it resonated, especially in light of recent discussions here and on DNL prime about men's place in conversations on gender issues/feminism/etc.:

“Men who want to be feminists do not need to be given a space in feminism. They need to take the space they have in society & make it feminist.” -Kelley Temple, National Union of Students UK Women’s Officer

Interested in hearing if that sounds right to people and open to thoughts/questions from guys about how they might do that (if they happen to want to).

(Please note that as a [not 101] topic you should contribute from a basic level of acceptance and understanding--if you think men shouldn't care about feminism or don't see why they would, please keep those thoughts out of here. Thanks!)
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Post by Gentleman Johnny on Thu Nov 06, 2014 3:03 pm

I try not to step up and talk about feminism and feminist theory much but to say my life has significant overlap is an understatement. I just prefer to speak more informally than academically about my personal experiences. I'm not someone who's part of some big worldwide movement. I'm just a guy trying to do the right thing.

That disclaimer aside, my feelings about that quote are. . .nuanced. I definitely agree with the latter half. I've said things like "if you give me a platform, I'm going to use it to say something important," and "I can only effect things within my bubble" around here and they amount to the same thing. I see how being the guy of the group affords me privilege more often than I'd like to. Given that's the way it is, though, I'm going to use that privilege to do something positive. I can't make people act differently but I can encourage them and cut those who are an issue out of the loop.

The first part I'm more ambivalent about. Every time some guy comes around DNL Prime with real but off topic issues of men being treated unfairly in society, the response is "that's also a problem created by patriarchy. The answer is feminism." For that to be true, there must be a space in feminism for the discussion of those issues. Just like its possible to be concerned with world hunger and the harassment (nay terrorizing)of Anita Sarkeesian, its possible to be concerned with the issues faced by both men and women as a result of patriarchy. A refusal to make space to address those issues, even if they're considered secondary, leads to. . .well, to the festering cesspool of the MRA movement as it stands today.

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Post by Lemminkainen on Thu Nov 06, 2014 3:12 pm

Mel wrote:I came across this quote on Tumblr today and it resonated, especially in light of recent discussions here and on DNL prime about men's place in conversations on gender issues/feminism/etc.:

“Men who want to be feminists do not need to be given a space in feminism. They need to take the space they have in society & make it feminist.” -Kelley Temple, National Union of Students UK Women’s Officer

Interested in hearing if that sounds right to people and open to thoughts/questions from guys about how they might do that (if they happen to want to).

(Please note that as a [not 101] topic you should contribute from a basic level of acceptance and understanding--if you think men shouldn't care about feminism or don't see why they would, please keep those thoughts out of here.  Thanks!)

I absolutely agree with the second part of Temple's quote-- doing things which I identify as that (being friendly and supportive to the women in my life, making clubs and social organizations I control into safe spaces, etc.) seems to have made a significant quality-of-life difference for some of the women around me, and it's been the most obviously consequential feminist thing I've ever done. I'm reminded of lifestyle anarchists, who know that they can't change the whole world at once, but strive instead to make a peace of it better.

I feel a lot less sure about the first half, and I feel like it would be a lot easier to resolve my feelings about it if I had more context for this quote.* I'm inclined to disagree with my naive reading of it. As a lot of feminist men and women have pointed out, the patriarchy also oppresses, or at least deeply harms men. (And its consequences are visible statistics-- just as the very obvious wage gap, media representation gap, and sexual violence victimization gap offer a strong case that women are oppressed by patriarchy [basically, they are the reason I am a feminist], things like the suicide gap, the educational attainment gap, the sentencing-for-the-same-crimes gap, and the life expectancy gap suggest that the patriarchy oppresses men as well).

Since men have a stake in the dismantling of the patriarchy, it makes sense that they should be allowed to speak in (although of course, not dominate) the movement to get rid of it. I also think that resolving some of the ways that the patriarchy oppresses men (ie: reducing the constant pressure to suppress emotions and perform toxic masculinity) will make fixing the ways that it harms women a lot easier. Men are the only people who experience the specific ways that the patriarchy harms men, so getting their input when working out ways to fix this issue is important.

There's another issue as well-- making sure that a post-patriarchy world will actually be just for everybody rather than just creating a hierarchical one. I think that Western countries have maybe twenty years or so of patriarchy left before the significant education gap between men and women puts most of the country's capital, corporate leadership, and political power into women's hands. Figuring out what the world to come will look like is an important problem, a feminist one (since only feminists are the only people who both imagine a post-patriarchy world and don't aggressively fight to stop it from happening), and one which probably requires some input from men (but again, not for men to dominate the conversation) to avoid making it horrible in other ways.

So, based on my naive reading of it, I disagree with the first part of Temple's statement because men have an immediate stake in some (but not all-- for example, I don't think that men's voices would be important in conversations about the wage gap) feminist discussions, so they need to have some space within feminism (or at least, some parts of it-- I think that it would be totally non-problematic to segment this by issue, or to have a bunch of feminist spaces, and have some of them make space for men and others not make space for men).

Of course, I might just be misreading this because of the lack of context, so if anybody knows anything about the context of this quote or about Kelley Temple that makes what I just wrote stupid, please let me know, and I'll be glad to revise my response.


*I suspect that tumblr and twitter are the home of the internet's most savage public conflicts because they're basically machines for destroying context.



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Post by eselle28 on Thu Nov 06, 2014 3:17 pm

I have fairly complicated feelings about this, because I agree a little bit with many things being said above me, but not entirely with any of them. On the "That's also a problem created by patriarchy. The answer is feminism." claim that I agree does get made sometimes, I'd probably alter it to "That's also a problem created by patriarchy. If you are willing to join with other men to change that, feminism will be your ally."

There are aspects of the ways that men are oppressed by the patriarchy that women aren't going to understand as well, and also that there is a risk that privilege will sneak into these conversations and mean that men's voices and issues end up taking up most of the feminism space. I'd say that, ideally, feminism could be a space where women and women's issues could have more but not all of the focus on them, there could be a similar movement for men whose beliefs don't align with MRA ones, and that each gender could visit but try to be sensitive to the house rules when in each other's space.
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Post by Gentleman Johnny on Thu Nov 06, 2014 3:45 pm

While I agree with your points and I understand the danger of men over-running a women's movement, it still feels like trying to have it both ways. If phrases like "feminism just means treating everyone equally regardless of gender" and "If you believe in equality for everyone, you're a feminist" are in your vocabulary (and I've been told both of those things in my time on DNL) then you've already decided that there's a space for men. To say those things and say "but you guys have different issues. So you go over there away from the real feminists" strikes a bit of a false note with me. I suspect it also rubs the guys who are having serious problems with those issues the wrong way.

And this is exactly why I rarely discuss issues like this in terms of feminism. If we were talking about street harassment or men in positions of authority over youth being more suspect of pedophilia, we'd all agree that they were problems that need fixing. Its only in the context of whether or not x issue or y sort of participation is properly "feminism" that things gets sticky. Maybe my outlook is overly simpistic but I don't care what movement you do or don't identify with. Show me what you're doing.

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Post by UristMcBunny on Thu Nov 06, 2014 3:54 pm

I agree with the quote, although I also agree with others above that there needs to be nuance here.

On the one hand - yes, one of the things intersectional feminism needs to do is create spaces that balance against the primacy society gives to other voices. As an example - I have heard people complain that the various body positive spaces on the internet do not permit them to discuss, say, dieting, in their spaces. The answer - and it's one I agree with - is that people who want to discuss dieting have literally the entire rest of the planet - internet and IRL - in which to do so. So the notion that privileged allies do not need to have space made for them within social justice movements - because outside of their social justice work they already have everywhere else - not only makes sense to me in that way but also feels like an excellent teaching opportunity for people to get some tiny glimpse into what things are like on the other side.

At the same time though, I feel like for men who specifically want to dismantle toxic ideals of masculinity, there actually isn't much space in the wider world for them. The masculine spaces IRL are mostly focused on perpetuating the patriarchal ideals we already have. And those spaces can be equally toxic and unwelcoming to men as they can be for the rest of us.

So I think a more accurate way to put it would be that feminism does not need to make space for people to perpetuate patriarchal ideals. I would not, for example, consider it at all reasonable for a man to ask why he can't use feminist spaces to discuss things like "but I really like telling strangers to smile for me". It would also not be reasonable for the space made for men in feminism to be carved out of existing spaces used for other things - no derailing conversations. I would, however, eagerly welcome the creation of new spaces within social justice for us to discuss and work on men's issues. I do agree that those spaces should be led and created by men, though.

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Post by Wondering on Thu Nov 06, 2014 4:04 pm

I agree with the quotation. But I'm reading it and taking it as a whole, both sentences together. I think it alters the meaning of what she said to separate those sentences from each other.

I agree that men do not "need to be given a space in feminism." If you're a feminist man, you don't need a space. You're already there in feminism. No extra is needed. BUT it's not enough. Since men have privilege and control almost all of the other spaces in our culture, feminist men need to work to make those spaces more feminist, too. Otherwise, "feminism" will remain an Other space, a liminal place that isn't mainstream and will continue to be marginalized.

I wasn't taking this quotation to be about men's issues with patriarchy, honestly. I see how it could evoke concern about that, but I didn't get that out of it. Because, like eselle said, men's voices and issues taking over feminism is a concern. I find it interesting that this conversation is focusing on that already.

As far as men's issues with patriarchy go, I think it might be easier for men who are already in the feminist space to work on these issues by bringing feminism out to men's spaces. Where there are, presumably, a lot more men. Men who might be wary of the term "feminism" but do want to work on the problems they face with patriarchy. Because, yeah, if you don't have feminism in men's spaces like that, you do end up with MRA.

Being a feminist man who isn't requiring his own special space in feminism and is also bringing feminism out to men's spaces is necessary for continuing progress, in my opinion.

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Post by eselle28 on Thu Nov 06, 2014 4:05 pm

Gentleman Johnny wrote:While I agree with your points and I understand the danger of men over-running a women's movement, it still feels like trying to have it both ways. If phrases like "feminism just means treating everyone equally regardless of gender" and  "If you believe in equality for everyone, you're a feminist" are in your vocabulary (and I've been told both of those things in my time on DNL) then you've already decided that there's a space for men. To say those things and say "but you guys have different issues. So you go over there away from the real feminists" strikes a bit of a false note with me. I suspect it also rubs the guys who are having serious problems with those issues the wrong way.

And this is exactly why I rarely discuss issues like this in terms of feminism. If we were talking about street harassment or men in positions of authority over youth being more suspect of pedophilia, we'd all agree that they were problems that need fixing. Its only in the context of whether or not x issue or y sort of participation is properly "feminism" that things gets sticky. Maybe my outlook is overly simpistic but I don't care what movement you do or don't identify with. Show me what you're doing.

This is a tough point of view for me to get at, because I'm not very inclined to make either of those statements. The second one in particular tends to rub me wrong because I can picture a lot of dystopias where everyone is equal, by various standards of the word, and which I wouldn't find to be very compatible with feminism. I don't care if someone whose ideas I mostly agree with or support identifies as a feminist, uses some other label, or doesn't use a label. I'd note that the quote talks about men who "want to be feminists." I don't think it necessarily applies to the sort of world in which all men are told they should want to be feminists.

I also think the "needs to be given" bit is important. I don't think that rules out that there can be spaces for men in feminism. I think what it rules out is an attitude taken by some men who talk about gender, in which they sort of grudgingly say, "Oh, okay already, I'll be a feminist," and then sort of expect women to do most of the advocacy for and organizing of and sacrificing for their particular male-oriented causes. I don't even think that particular kind of guy is bad. I just think everyone might be best served if he called himself whatever he wished, worked on behalf of the goals he cared about, and was willing to engage in some cross-interaction with people whose goals may intersect but whose philosophies may be different.
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Post by eselle28 on Thu Nov 06, 2014 4:11 pm

UristMcBunny wrote:
At the same time though, I feel like for men who specifically want to dismantle toxic ideals of masculinity, there actually isn't much space in the wider world for them.  The masculine spaces IRL are mostly focused on perpetuating the patriarchal ideals we already have.  And those spaces can be equally toxic and unwelcoming to men as they can be for the rest of us.

That's a fair point. It's admittedly unfair to talk about multiple spaces when the spaces that exist are so toxic - though I'll also note that forming and nurturing communities isn't something only women and patriarchal men are capable of doing, so the reason those spaces don't exist are complicated.

So I think a more accurate way to put it would be that feminism does not need to make space for people to perpetuate patriarchal ideals.  I would not, for example, consider it at all reasonable for a man to ask why he can't use feminist spaces to discuss things like "but I really like telling strangers to smile for me".  It would also not be reasonable for the space made for men in feminism to be carved out of existing spaces used for other things - no derailing conversations.  I would, however, eagerly welcome the creation of new spaces within social justice for us to discuss and work on men's issues.  I do agree that those spaces should be led and created by men, though.

I think I'm on board with all those ideas, since the "does not need to make space for people to perpetuate patriarchal ideals" seems to get at a lot of the behaviors I find troublesome. Actually, it would get at some of the behaviors that can be troublesome among women who identify as feminists as well.
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Post by UristMcBunny on Thu Nov 06, 2014 4:16 pm

Actually, yeah. Eselle, you've got a really good point. In many ways, the quote could be seen as a reaction to exactly that issue in feminism - especially 101 feminist spaces - where the conversation over and over again turns to men asking "what can feminism do for me?". Which... is a valid question, but not perhaps to the degree that it seems to be treated as a priority. And that is partly an issue with feminism having tried so very hard to be a "this is for men too!" thing - a point which has often ended up the focus of advocacy for men joining the cause.

Which is weird. Because as a white person I would never expect the spaces targeting racism to make space for me. Nor would I want disabled rights spaces to make space for my non-disabled arse. I understand when working with those groups that my participation should be about raising the voices of people of colour and disabled people in places where the don't usually get heard. I understand that I shouldn't be participating in the work out of any sense that my own life will be improved, but based on the understanding that I should participate just because it's the right thing to do damnit.

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Post by Mel on Thu Nov 06, 2014 4:17 pm

As a disclaimer: I am a "casual" feminist in that I believe in the basic ideals and will speak up for relevant issues as they come up, but I'm not part of any organized faction and I don't do much academic reading on the subject, etc. So my impressions of what feminism looks like to someone who has tried to engage it on a more organized level may not be accurate.

I actually didn't take the first part of the quote to mean that men weren't welcome in feminism at all, though now that people have mentioned it I can see how it comes across that way. I took it, once you consider the second half, to mean that men don't need to be given an additional space, by other people currently working on feminist issues, beyond the ways feminism already accounts for men's issues. Like, if a guy is concerned about toxic masculinity, he could find out how that fits into feminism (part of the same issue as certain emotions being coded as "feminine" and therefore weak, etc.), find people who are already working on that general issue, and contribute there, which would be contributing to reducing the issue of toxic masculinity as part of that. Or, if he can't find any way to contribute toward that general issue that works for him, he can use "the space he has" to create a movement toward that issue there that aligns with feminist goals while taking men's concerns into consideration.  The problem would be if he looked around, couldn't find anything that perfectly suited him or that seemed to cater quite enough to men, and then insisted that other people in existing feminist circles (esp. women) create something for him out of their space.  

e.g., I saw a group a little while back that was centered on gender issues, and stated they were mainly focused on how gender issues affect men, but they recognized that this was part of a larger system and worked alongside feminists focusing more on women (or something like that). I really liked seeing that, and if they did work they way they expressed it, I think it's a great thing.

I don't know if that makes sense or is oversimplifying the issue, but that's how I took it, anyway.

Edit: Basically, I'm saying something similar to what eselle is in her response above to GJ. Although I agree with Wondering that it's interesting we took it that way and I like her interpretation too!
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Post by Lemminkainen on Thu Nov 06, 2014 4:24 pm

UristMcBunny wrote:I agree with the quote, although I also agree with others above that there needs to be nuance here.

On the one hand - yes, one of the things intersectional feminism needs to do is create spaces that balance against the primacy society gives to other voices.  As an example - I have heard people complain that the various body positive spaces on the internet do not permit them to discuss, say, dieting, in their spaces.  The answer - and it's one I agree with - is that people who want to discuss dieting have literally the entire rest of the planet - internet and IRL - in which to do so.  So the notion that privileged allies do not need to have space made for them within social justice movements - because outside of their social justice work they already have everywhere else - not only makes sense to me in that way but also feels like an excellent teaching opportunity for people to get some tiny glimpse into what things are like on the other side.

At the same time though, I feel like for men who specifically want to dismantle toxic ideals of masculinity, there actually isn't much space in the wider world for them.  The masculine spaces IRL are mostly focused on perpetuating the patriarchal ideals we already have.  And those spaces can be equally toxic and unwelcoming to men as they can be for the rest of us.

So I think a more accurate way to put it would be that feminism does not need to make space for people to perpetuate patriarchal ideals.  I would not, for example, consider it at all reasonable for a man to ask why he can't use feminist spaces to discuss things like "but I really like telling strangers to smile for me".  It would also not be reasonable for the space made for men in feminism to be carved out of existing spaces used for other things - no derailing conversations.  I would, however, eagerly welcome the creation of new spaces within social justice for us to discuss and work on men's issues.  I do agree that those spaces should be led and created by men, though.

I think this formulation is awesome, and captures some important nuances that both Johnny and I missed. Thank you so much for putting it together!

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Post by Gentleman Johnny on Thu Nov 06, 2014 4:32 pm

eselle28 wrote:
I also think the "needs to be given" bit is important. I don't think that rules out that there can be spaces for men in feminism. I think what it rules out is an attitude taken by some men who talk about gender, in which they sort of grudgingly say, "Oh, okay already, I'll be a feminist," and then sort of expect women to do most of the advocacy for and organizing of and sacrificing for their particular male-oriented causes. I don't even think that particular kind of guy is bad. I just think everyone might be best served if he called himself whatever he wished, worked on behalf of the goals he cared about, and was willing to engage in some cross-interaction with people whose goals may intersect but whose philosophies may be different.

See, this isn't what I take away at all. It feels more like losing the forest for the trees. My reading is much more "your contribution and issues don't deserve a position (even a secondary one) in our space. You need to bring our issues into your space." I already do that, thank you. I don't think I would take well to one of my feminist friends dismissing my issues or point of view while expecting me to support hers. Now, that said, I don't know that I go out of my way to participate in "feminist spaces" because we're back to labels being a fuzzy metric. Its certainly not to say that all men deserve all access. I guess part of it might just be my approach. I don't join movements. I do my discussing online. When I'm out in the world, I just do and let the agenda behind the action speak for itself.

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Post by Guest on Thu Nov 06, 2014 4:40 pm

eselle28 wrote: It's admittedly unfair to talk about multiple spaces when the spaces that exist are so toxic - though I'll also note that forming and nurturing communities isn't something only women and patriarchal men are capable of doing, so the reason those spaces don't exist are complicated.

To me, this is the most important thing anyone's said on this so far. To give a concrete example: breast cancer awareness and the pink ribbon campaign was a huge, enormous undertaking. Women poured huge amounts of time, money, energy, and passion into raising awareness and making breast cancer a mainstream issue. They created organizations to raise money. They worked HARD.

And yet I've heard men complaining that prostate cancer doesn't get the attention breast cancer does, and that it should, as if that attention wasn't bought with blood, sweat, and tears. As if they should magically get the same thing just for asking.

Feminist spaces didn't just appear and get handed over to women. People cultivated them. They cut down trees, dug up stumps, moved rocks, and tilled soil. They dug wells, and built fences. Every year, they plant and tend and harvest crops. Then men come and say, "I need to talk about important feminist issues, like how I'm not being treated seriously as a caretaker for my child!" And they get told, "Look, my fields are all planted with wage inequity and street harassment and the fact that women have to emotionally caretake for me. You can hang out and watch how I operate, but please don't dig up my crops to plant your own. When you're ready, you can head over to the unclaimed land over there and plant your unfair expectations and pedophilia suspicions." So the men look over there and say, "But there are all those weeds! And look at that rock right in the middle of the field! Your farm is huge, and it's beautiful. Why can't I stay here?"

The work to make the space was done by real people, and they have the right to say how they want that space used.

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Post by reboot on Thu Nov 06, 2014 4:56 pm

I am also a feminist who does not engage in the "academic" or "discoursey" side of the house and mostly participate in feminist organizations in the context of immigrant, refugee, and migrant rights and as a part of human rights (in that violations often make people refugees), so do not have so much experience in purely feminist organizations.

I understand the sentiment behind the quote because there is an unfortunate tendency for groups that are used to being the focus of conversation diverting discussions to themselves and their concerns. You see it with white feminists in POC feminist spaces as well. There is also a tendency for the more priviledged group to ask the less priviledged to lead the change without saying or doing anything themselves. However I can also see how it can make feminist men feel that there is no place to discuss how to confront current masculinity models as men. Then again, maybe that conversation should not happen with feminists at all since it is a bit preaching to the choir. Feminists already tend to believe current models of masculinity need to change but are not the ones who can make it happen.
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Post by Lemminkainen on Thu Nov 06, 2014 5:04 pm

UristMcBunny wrote:
Which is weird.  Because as a white person I would never expect the spaces targeting racism to make space for me.  Nor would I want disabled rights spaces to make space for my non-disabled arse.  I understand when working with those groups that my participation should be about raising the voices of people of colour and disabled people in places where the don't usually get heard.  I understand that I shouldn't be participating in the work out of any sense that my own life will be improved, but based on the understanding that I should participate just because it's the right thing to do damnit.

I think that men who are sincerely interested in feminism* sometimes come to the movement with this sort of perspective because the patriarchy really does hurt men in measurable ways, which are significant parts of their own lived experience** while discrimination against the disabled doesn't hurt able-bodied people, and racism doesn't hurt white people. Then, they want to ask for help with the bad things they've experienced. (Please note: I don't think that this is the right thing to do-- I'm trying to explain the place where these feelings come from, not trying to justify this sort of action.)

*There are of course also some guys who aren't really interested and just want to advance the patriarchy, and mostly come into feminist spaces looking for ammunition, but they're a rather different sort of group who are fairly easy to recognize and who we shouldn't conflate with feminist men.

**As a non-straight, non-gender-normative man, I have a LOT of experience with this.

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Post by UristMcBunny on Thu Nov 06, 2014 5:18 pm

Lemminkainen wrote:
UristMcBunny wrote:
Which is weird.  Because as a white person I would never expect the spaces targeting racism to make space for me.  Nor would I want disabled rights spaces to make space for my non-disabled arse.  I understand when working with those groups that my participation should be about raising the voices of people of colour and disabled people in places where the don't usually get heard.  I understand that I shouldn't be participating in the work out of any sense that my own life will be improved, but based on the understanding that I should participate just because it's the right thing to do damnit.

I think that men who are sincerely interested in feminism* sometimes come to the movement with this sort of perspective because the patriarchy really does hurt men in measurable ways, which are significant parts of their own lived experience** while discrimination against the disabled doesn't hurt able-bodied people, and racism doesn't hurt white people.  Then, they want to ask for help with the bad things they've experienced.  (Please note: I don't think that this is the right thing to do-- I'm trying to explain the place where these feelings come from, not trying to justify this sort of action.)

*There are of course also some guys who aren't really interested and just want to advance the patriarchy, and mostly come into feminist spaces looking for ammunition, but they're a rather different sort of group who are fairly easy to recognize and who we shouldn't conflate with feminist men.

**As a non-straight, non-gender-normative man, I have a LOT of experience with this.

That's a really good point. Thank you for making it!

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[not 101] Men in feminism Empty Re: [not 101] Men in feminism

Post by BasedBuzzed on Thu Nov 06, 2014 5:45 pm

If I have to identify as something, I just go with equalist, since:
a)it avoids the male feminist/ally/supportive man labelwank.
b)it upsets precisely the right people(MRAs and the bad type of feminist somehow always parse this as a balance fallacy-where the hell does it say that both genders are equally oppressed?).
c)and it sounds hilariously evil.

As far as my credentials go on spreading the good word, they're too meager to be comfortable calling myself anything else than that. Repeating DNL's stuff when people vent about relationship troubles, Overton Windowing FB discussions("this type of feminism is actually reasonable because haha, look at toocutes, gender mysticists, political lesbianism and the like") and volunteering at a social entrepeneurship non-profit(lel, spreading Western capitalist norms) that currently helps less well-off dudettes in Bolivia does not a feminist man make, in my opinion.
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Post by Wondering on Thu Nov 06, 2014 5:51 pm

ElizaJane wrote:Feminist spaces didn't just appear and get handed over to women.  People cultivated them.  They cut down trees, dug up stumps, moved rocks, and tilled soil.  They dug wells, and built fences.  Every year, they plant and tend and harvest crops. Then men come and say, "I need to talk about important feminist issues, like how I'm not being treated seriously as a caretaker for my child!"  And they get told, "Look, my fields are all planted with wage inequity and street harassment and the fact that women have to emotionally caretake for me.  You can hang out and watch how I operate, but please don't dig up my crops to plant your own.  When you're ready, you can head over to the unclaimed land over there and plant your unfair expectations and pedophilia suspicions."  So the men look over there and say, "But there are all those weeds!  And look at that rock right in the middle of the field!  Your farm is huge, and it's beautiful.  Why can't I stay here?"

The work to make the space was done by real people, and they have the right to say how they want that space used.

So much this.


reboot wrote:Then again, maybe that conversation should not happen with feminists at all since it is a bit preaching to the choir. Feminists already tend to believe current models of masculinity need to change but are not the ones who can make it happen.

Yeah, I think that's another reason going outside existing feminist spaces is needed. Otherwise, it's just preaching to the choir and no progress will be made on necessary issues.

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Post by Dan_Brodribb on Thu Nov 06, 2014 6:16 pm

[mod] Based Buzzed, I'm having a hard time seeing what your personal identification as not-a-feminist has to do with the topic being discussed. As a non-101 topic, such comments were expressly mentioned as being outside the scope of this discussion. [/mod]

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Post by BasedBuzzed on Thu Nov 06, 2014 6:31 pm

Because it hooks into the discussion already going on on this page of how men participating in feminism or the discussion around it identify themselves(calling yourself a feminist as a man is already claiming space in some eyes), and the discussion on the previous page at what contribution level people call themselves one?

By all means spin it off to another thread if it looks derailish to you.

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[not 101] Men in feminism Empty Re: [not 101] Men in feminism

Post by eselle28 on Thu Nov 06, 2014 6:31 pm

Wondering wrote:
reboot wrote:Then again, maybe that conversation should not happen with feminists at all since it is a bit preaching to the choir. Feminists already tend to believe current models of masculinity need to change but are not the ones who can make it happen.

Yeah, I think that's another reason going outside existing feminist spaces is needed. Otherwise, it's just preaching to the choir and no progress will be made on necessary issues.

I think I can imagine some good reasons men would want to have those conversations with feminists, if not necessarily in 101 spaces. There's preaching to the choir, and then (to extend a very Christian-based metaphor) there's having a study group for members of all the churches in the area after services, and then there's preaching to the choir of the church down the road that doesn't do things exactly the way you do. Preaching to the choir is kind of pointless and usually boring. The study group could be interesting, though, either as a place for members to support each other or to learn about each other's different perspectives. The last option tends not to be very appealing, at least if you're one of the choir members.

Anyway, I can see why men might want to talk about these issues with people who are thinking about them but who may have a different perspective. I don't want to do advocacy all the time, so I can see how men might not want to, either. It's more sort of a time and place and tone issue with me, and I'm still puzzling out how to do that without deeming someone a second-class citizen. I think the patriarchal attitudes take on it is mostly working for me though.
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Post by BiSian on Thu Nov 06, 2014 6:40 pm

Yeah, in my experience feminists are SUPER supportive of male victims. Just you know, they don't want their spaces and work to take a backseat to that.
Which in MRA-la-la-land translates to "YOU DONT CARE, YOU HATE MEN!"
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[not 101] Men in feminism Empty Re: [not 101] Men in feminism

Post by reboot on Thu Nov 06, 2014 7:06 pm

<MOD> Please remember that this is not a 101 discussion. Unless you are familiar beyond a superficial level with the history of feminism and have had some connection working with feminists, this is not the thread for you </MOD>


Last edited by reboot on Thu Nov 06, 2014 7:58 pm; edited 1 time in total
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[not 101] Men in feminism Empty Re: [not 101] Men in feminism

Post by nearly_takuan on Thu Nov 06, 2014 7:24 pm

Either way, I think we aren't talking about the original quote anymore. It seems like the general sentiment is that disadvantaged men need to go make their own movement to deal with sexism, which means that we aren't going to "take the space we have in society & make it feminist"; we're going to take whatever space we can scrounge up (which, pretty much by definition of the sorts of issues we want to correct, isn't much) and make it whatever our movement is but it's apparently not feminism.

Of course, this is also because we've been talking about men who want to address sexism instead of "men who want to be feminists" when they aren't the same thing at all. Feminist rhetoric about addressing general sexism has muddied the waters a bit there.
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